Instructors complain that laptops don't let them make eye-contact with their students; all they see is the backs of open laptops. Some instructors feel laptops inhibit classroom discussion because they provide "easy cover" for reticent students.
Many businesses have "No-Laptop Meetings" and areas that are designated "Laptop-Free Zones."
To get to the bottom of this, we conducted an experiment last year. All laptops and other electronic gadgets were banned from our classroom. We also conducted a poll on what the students thought about our experiment.
The results overwhelmingly favored keeping laptops out of our classroom. It wasn't even close; over 70% of the students voted that laptops were a distraction.
So, add laptops to the list of things that aren't allowed in our classroom.
There are, however, some exceptions to this rule. First, it does not apply to anyone with a documented disability. It also does not apply during "team time." Finally, we might consider designating a single person to be a note-taker for the class if necessary.
Thanks for your cooperation.